What is Low Vision?
Low vision is a loss of vision that cannot be corrected with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. Low vision is usually caused by eye diseases or health conditions which can include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, diabetes, glaucoma or stroke.
Frequently, this type of vision loss can affect a person’s ability to participate in everyday activities like reading, cooking, walking and driving. While vision cannot be restored, low vision rehabilitation can help you to make the most of your remaining vision by continuing to participate in daily activities and maintaining independence.
How can we help?
The Center for Low Vision is dedicated to helping individuals with vision loss regain the ability to participate in tasks that provide fulfillment and independence—whether that be reading, going to school or work, performing household activities or getting around town safely.
What to expect at the Center for Low Vision
Low vision exams are different from regular eye exams. While some of the tests will be familiar, other tests are specific to low vision testing. The primary goal of a low vision exam is not to diagnose eye disease, but rather to maximize functional vision. During a low vision exam, the low vision optometrist will establish goals based on your specific needs and perform tests to help determine the current level of vision. The exam includes testing for prescription glasses and devices to assist with your specific goals. While glasses may not provide full correction, they can often be beneficial for providing some improvement in vision or allowing optimal use of low vision aids. A plan is then developed to specifically address your needs.
After the exam, you may be referred to an occupational therapist. Vision rehabilitation occupational therapy may include eccentric viewing training for central vision problems or visual scanning for peripheral vision loss. The therapist will work with you to identify areas of your daily activities impacted by your change in vision. She or he will assess your use of various technologies and prescribed devices to help determine the best tools to optimize participation in those activities.
Our vision rehabilitation specialists
Led by Dr. Katelyn Jordan, our clinic utilizes a team approach pairing an optometrist specializing in low vision with an occupational therapist who specializes in low vision rehabilitation. Our team strives to help patients with visual impairment maintain independence and participate in activities they previously enjoyed. See Dr. Jordan’s spotlight from Florida State University.
Our lead vision rehabilitation occupational therapist, Sarah LaRosa, MOT, OTR/L, SCLV, CLVT, is recognized as an expert in the niche area of low vision and has received acknowledgements for her contributions to the program, profession and community as highlighted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
In addition to our staff, our team works with local physicians, eye specialists and public service agencies to coordinate medical care, low vision training and vocational rehabilitation.
Low vision equipment & technology
Our office is equipped with testing equipment and technology designed specifically for patients who have experienced vision loss. We also have a wide variety of low vision optical aids (magnifiers, telescopic glasses), assistive technology and non-optical aids such as talking devices, adaptive equipment and lighting available for testing and demonstration to determine what will be the most effective aid for you.
Vision conditions treated
Any condition which limits the vision of a person and impacts their ability to participate in daily activities. Some examples of conditions that cause low vision:
- Macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Optic atrophy
- Retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardts and other hereditary retinal diseases
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Brain injury
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Ocular trauma
- Congenital nystagmus
- Ocular albinism
Additional services provided
- Special needs eye exams for patients with difficulty communicating or participating in a regular eye exam
- Eye exams to evaluate for visual or ocular changes after neurological injuries (i.e. stroke, traumatic brain injury)
Schedule a consultation at (904) 389-9989.